A sunny day in Ireland is a good day and as we wake up it is a good day. Refreshed after our pub crawl last night we hit the breakfast room a bit later than yesterday - its almost 8AM.
We set off for St. Stephen’s Green the city’s park. Phoenix Park is much much larger but it is on the outskirts of Dublin town; St Stephen’s is in the heart of the city small, pretty, and lots of history from the 1916 rebellion that started Ireland’s path to independence.
We had received a recommendation from people we met on the pub crawl last night to go to the Little Museum of Ireland and it was well worth the visit. It is a small Georgian house with each room set up to explore key things about Ireland. Well curated it doesn’t try to do to much - they had a nice presentation about women in Ireland. We stopped along the way to grab a PSL for Laurie at Starbucks - yes, Pumpkin Spice Latte’s are a thing in Ireland as well.
Our second museum is the General Post Office - headquarters for the rebels in the aforementioned rebellion. The post office bears the scars of the battle as the British retook control of Dublin within the week. The buildings around the post office are new as they had been destroyed in the shelling. After buying stamps (it is still a post office) we then go the museum and learn more about the uprising, the causes and the various sub groups that all were rebelling for their own reasons against the British - a short film concludes which outlines how the rebels took control of the city but ultimately couldn’t hold it for very long.
We stop for lunch at Lanigan’s pub. Lanigan must be the patron saint of single men as we are the only couple in the place - I feel like a rock star.
After our quick bite and beer we head to the new EPIC Emigration museum which is billed as an interactive museum outlining the history of Irish emigration. It has 20 rooms set in an old dockyard storage building, going through each room to get your passport stamped. It started out so promising for the first three or four rooms then it quickly loses steam and by the end you are stamping your passport just in case they won’t let you leave after room 20.
It is 2:40 when we are allowed to emigrate from the not-so-epic and we debate whether to go home or go the Jeannie Johnson the “famine” ship which is right next door. Underwhelmed by that-was-not-epic and armed with the Dublin pass that gives you free admission to so many places, we decide to see the replica famine ship. We have a 3PM tour and there are only four of us (the last group must have been forty). The other couple are from Hamilton the tour is thankfully quaint and relatively short.
We head home, change, and get ready for our pre-theatre dinner at Chapter One - the highly acclaimed Michelin starred restaurant. Going on the Camino and surviving with carry on luggage I have left my tuxedo at home; Laurie somehow has managed to dress impeccably. I have never had brazed lamb neck before; it is surprisingly good, as is Laurie’s pork tenderloin - the sommelier has managed to find a wine from southern France that works with both dishes. The service is adequate but not Michelin starred - they have probably caught on to the fact that we are not secret reviewers for Michelin.
After dinner we walk to the Abbey Theatre for their presentation of Jimmy’s Hall - it is fantastic - full of Irish music and great musicians. It is a fusion of Footloose and Irish Civil war. Telling the tale of Jimmy Gralton, a communist deported to America who returns to Ireland to set up a dance hall in his home town in defiance to the Catholic Church during the Irish Civil war in the 1930’s. It is based on the 2014 film of the same name and despite the tragic nature of so many Irish stories it manages to be uplifting.
We catch a night cap at a crowded Friday evening pub before retiring for a well earned sleep.Read more